Ali pourmohamad, a successful and well-known documentary filmmaker, talks about the difference between a documentary and a feature film


Directing a documentary in a specific sense means designing and performing a pre-written mezzanine, adjusting the camera and actors’ movements relative to each other, and directing the games. In a documentary, the subject is usually uncontrollable, and the director can give nothing to the subject or the cameraman except general instructions.

The grammar of fictional cinema, which has developed over many decades in the practice of global filmmaking, is somewhat applicable to documentary film. Therefore, it is not possible to examine a documentary film with the criteria of a feature film, especially in the field of stage mezzanine.
In the documentary, we have very few scenes in the strict sense of the word. Putting together archival sources and interviews and voicing them is a very different art that the work of a documentary editor is. Criticism should also look at the documentary from the same angle.

The documentary has elements that are absent in the fictional film. Interviews, archival sources such as film, photographs, graphics, sound and speech (narration) are three elements that are specific to documentary film and so far little work has been done on the characteristics of each. The documentary critic must address the good and bad of each of these elements in the film in question.

Ali Pourmohamad, the best Iranian documentary filmmaker, was a VIP guest at this year’s Hafez Festival, which was held a few months ago.
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